As we turn the calendar, we have a new year full of possibilities. Even with all these possibilities, we also know that old habits die hard—this is why listing our new year’s resolutions is a popular practice and can be very profound. The list either helps us to do something new that we have always wanted to try, or start doing something we have known for a while and need to pick up again.
So for 2017, I have developed my top list of things I would like to do, improve at, or focus on for the year. These resolutions are aimed at improving my knowledge of educational technology (and more!) and are in no particular order—and a few are a little tongue in cheek!
In 2017, I resolve to:
- Try to remember to restart my computer before I contact the IT department—this will save me the embarrassment of them restarting it only to have it work again immediately.
- Participate more fully in educational Twitter chats—my favorites are #edchat and #ksedchat. I have chimed in here and there in the past, but I have never really fully committed to the process. This year, I am going to put it on my calendar and schedule out the time to ensure my participation and get more out of it.
- Disconnect my power strip that’s connected to a power strip connected to a power strip. The fire inspector doesn’t seem to like this much.
- Follow a new, amazing tech blogger. There are many great options out there including @alicekeeler, @Larryferlazzo, and @boxlightinc. This year, I will be on the lookout for more feeds to further inspire and educate me.
- Conduct action research to monitor the effectiveness of my EdTech usage and implementation. I have discussed this with a few tech leaders in our building, but would like to get something more structured and systemized in place. This free guide from Boxlight is a great resource for those who want to achieve successful tech implementation in schools.
- Branch out and collaborate globally as a professional.
- Tweet more.
- Attend a national technology conference—this one is kind of easy as our district already plans to send a group to ISTE this summer. I can’t wait!
- Make sure my computer is charged before going to a meeting.
- Help all students to understand social media. The more research I read, the more important I feel this is. We do some exposure, but not nearly enough, and around 50% of issues that end up in my office have a social media component to them. Students come by it honestly as they are very ill-prepared for the online environment and exposed to it at such an early age.
- Help teachers who can’t email with an email.
- Share our robotics program and the progress we are making toward competition with our local school board. This started last year and continues to expand—we hope to share our EV3 Lego Robotics program and show the development of our next steps in the upcoming school year.
- Support coding in the classroom—more coming on this in August 2017!
- Spend some time learning from the students’ perspective. This could be shadowing a student for a day or spending some time listening to individual groups of kids. As educators, we need more information from the source so we can make better decisions about instruction.
- Provide time for teachers to fully implement the new technology that we have. This can be tough with a limited budget, and getting substitutes isn’t always the best answer. I will look to be creative with our time and schedule to allow teachers to spend the necessary time learning and collaborating to discover how we can better use our tools.
- Expose every teacher to our new breakoutedu.com escape room kit we recently purchased. We have a few innovative teachers who have already experimented with it, and have already seen an amazing level of engagement and thinking. All teachers need to experience the kit and see how easy it is to set up and how much the students love it.
- Work on my professional development. There are some fantastic resources out there, such as the MimioTraining™ Quick Learn series, that allow educators to further their skills with lessons from expert teachers.
- Unplug in the evening to focus on the ones I love the most. This one is hard with some of the goals I have listed above: reading more blogs, ed chats, furthering my knowledge, etc. Balance is critical though, so I will leave the devices completely off for an evening or two each week.
As you can see, it will be a busy year. My final resolution is to pull out the list at the end of 2017 and see how much progress has been made. I resolve to follow through on these goals and hope to continuously improve, grow as a professional, and create an even better learning environment for all learners in our school. I hope you can resolve to do the same!
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